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Discussion Starter #1
Another grad student in the department here turns out to have a thing for carnivorous and bog plants. He gave me 3 species of Drosera and 2 species of Utricularia.
The grad student in an office next to mine also studies ricecut grass and gave me a small plant with clay and sand substrate.

The first two pictures are at initial planting two weeks ago. (18.09.08)

Its a 2 gallon hex tank, these seem pretty common and are my nano of choice. However I didn't have a light hood for it so I have a 100 watt equivalent CFL in a desk lamp hanging over it. Filtration is done with a modified Hagen Elite Mini - the coarse sponge is removed and replaced with a section of medium blue sponge and a section of high density open cell upholstery urethane sponge.

Substrate as you can tell is a local clay topped with washed playsand. I'm simply repeating what I did in my other 2 gallon hex that is housing two other Drosera species (those guys are doing fine btw).

In the two weeks one Drosera species seems to have died. I don't expect it to make a comeback.

One species is doing poorly, the old leaves melted off but it has begun to send out new leaves.

The last species is doing better, sending out new leaves without losing the old ones yet.

The ricecut grass doesn't seem to notice that its flooded. It grew out of the container and I just cut it down again to keep it fully submersed.

The utrics are doing well too. One species, the one with smaller leaves, seemed to have terrestrial leaf die off but its now growing with runners in the substrate. The leaves are -tiny-, only a few mm large. Its easy for the runners to be disturbed. two strands are attempting to float upwards because they were unburied in the pics.

The other species has actually had its leaves get larger. You can also see that its been growing with runners under the substrate as well.

I need to get a plastic divider to prevent the Utrics from growing into each other.

I'll be back later with the scientific names and to answer questions.

The Victims:


Initial Setup:


Two Weeks:

 

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Discussion Starter #2
no responses yet, huh?

Here's a side view.

I can't find the paper that I wrote the scientific names down on but I'll get you them.

Drosera:


Drosera and Utricularia:


This Utricularia is growing better than my Marsilea minuta and dwarf Lilaeopsis...
 

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Your flood is on grand proportions in the nano world, I had no idea that Drosera could survive underwater! what did you do to prepare the plants, trim the leaves or just let the flood rain down? I like your experiment! Keep us updated:D
 

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Very interesting. Are you adding co2 at all? Even without it, the Utricularias are growing? I'll bet there are lot of the so-called terrestrial species that can grow just fine submerged. There's a local one here that would be nice to try if I can ever find it!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just let the rain come down. I didn't trim the plants because I know in some plants as leaves die the plant redirects sugars and nutrients from those leaves to new growth. I've just been pulling out dead leaves every few days.

I haven't been adding any nutrients yet (I'm worrying about starting green water with the rotting leaves). Only been dosing with 1-2ml of 2.5% GA every day or two. No CO2.

What might be helping to keep the water clear is my modified filter. The high density upholstery foam has the ability to capture green water algae. I'm currently confirming this in another tank and I'll make a post about it later.
 

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I have heard that using upholstery foam will clear water fast, but it needs cleaned very often. How often do you rinse your foam to keep the flow up?

I really like carnivorous plants, but I am to scared to try them because everything I read states that they are to demanding to keep indoors. You are braking the rule of thumb! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I won't say that it clears water like a UV filter, but it really does do a good job. I need to rinse the filter every 1-2 days and when I do a lot of green goo comes out. Its done a decent job clearing up my 10 gallon tank to the point that I can look down it the long ways and see stuff. I also don't see billowing clouds in the water either. For a while I could literally see the turbulence in the water around the fish as they swam through the clouds.

I'd like to get my hands on some even higher density upholstery foam.



Its been 3 days and I took another picture of the Utricularia if you want to compare. Its growing really fast. I'm going to start fertilizing and see if I can bring brighter lights to bear on it. I'm hoping to grow up a full carpet of it and then start selling it :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have never kept U. graminifolia so I can't speak of how it compares to it. I would love to get a sample of it though.


Drosera capensis var. alba - the large drosera with the strap like leaves. Currently surviving and sendng up aquatic leaves. The terrestrial leaves have all melted off.

Drosera natidula x pulchella - this was the pygmy sundew. They all died. :(

Drosera dielsiana - this is the small sundew that still had strap like leaves. Is currently sending up aquatic leaves and the old leaves have not melted off yet.

Utricularia sandersonii - the smaller of the Utricularias. The submersed leaves are very small and it looks like it may not root. I am not sure if it will even survive fully submersed for prolonged periods of time since growth is slow.

Utricularia livida - The big one that is doing very well.
 

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That Utricularia is growing nuts! You will have a tank full in no time! Are Drosera plants the ones that trap bugs with sticky leaves? I wonder how it would survive under water, maybe bright light alone will keep it growing?

This is one cool tank! Every time I go fishing I collect different terrestrial pipeworts and whatnot, and chuck 'em in my tank. A few plants are growing slowly or barely hanging on, but time will tell. I think Cavan is dead on about quite a few terrestrial plants being able to survive submersed, we just have to test them in a healthy aquarium to find out. I am about to order some plastic pots with coco liner so I can dig up a few samples of terrestrial 'weeds' and pot them up, keeping the roots and native soil intact.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Drosera are the ones with the sticky leaves... These leaves aren't stick anymore.

Yeah, it really depends on the plant. I think a lot has to do with its evolutionary heritage and even the particular population you collect from.

I have some Fontinalis antipyretica that is barely hanging on (it grows slowly and is extremely sensitive to glutaraldehyde which I had to dose it with to clear a cladophora infection). This plant, BTW, is willow moss which I understand there's a strain in the aquarium trade that does very well but I haven't been sent that strain.

I once found some Cardimine hirsuta on a ditch bank that I stuck in the aquarium on a whim. It bolted and was growing fine until an algae outbreak (I lost it eventually). I tried collecting some more -not- from a ditch bank and that simply melted immediately.

I'd like to get a sample of U. graminifolia to compare the growth rates.

Also, I think that even if it survives it may not grow well and the growth rate may slow down and eventually it'll die over a year. Perhaps some nutrient uptake is inhibited by the flooding?
 

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Do you have any collection information for the U. livida? It's a very widespread species and it's certainly possible that not all populations are suitable. Knowing would be interesting in any case.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The plant sample was passed to me from a friend who purchased it commercially. I can ask and see if he remembers where he bought it from and then see if the nursery has collection information. But since commercial collections of niche species like this tend to come from one or two sources there's a good chance that if you buy another one commercially it'll work out.

Have you managed to find any other Utricularias locally? I don't think I will get a chance to collect any local Utricularias until next summer, so I may just order a few online to drown...

There are yet more leaves popping up under the surface. I'm going to try to lightly fertilize the water column... I estimate that it will reach across the entire tank in 2 months and complete coverage within 6 months.

The completely drowned stems of the rice cut grass are starting to yellow. I don't know if the Drosera species will also survive the next few months. CO2 injection would probably help a lot so I may set up a small DIY system for the office.
 

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Well, we found some U. geminiscapa, but I doubt anybody will be beating down any doors for it. U. cornuta is almost sure to grow submersed, but it apparently has some rather specific habitat requirements (acidic bogs). I know of a place where it might be found near where I am, but that will have to wait of course. That's probably one that could be found through carnivorous plant channels as well, but isn't it more fun to find it yourself? :p
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You might be able to sell the U. geminiscapa to anyone who needs to get rid of copepods and small aquatic inverts. It looks so large that it won't be invasive like U. gibba and friends, plus it looks pretty cool, like Myriophyllum
 
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